A Man is unfit for such a Place of Trust, who is of a sower untractable Nature, or has any other Passion that makes him uneasie to those who approach him. Roughness of Temper is apt to discountenance the Timorous or Modest. The proud Man discourages those from approaching him, who are of a mean Condition, and who most want his Assistance. The impatient Man will not give himself time to be informed of the Matter that lies before him. An Officer with one or more of these unbecoming Qualities, is sometimes looked upon as a proper Person to keep off Impertinence and Solicitation from his Superior; but this is a kind of Merit, that can never attone for the Injustice which may very often arise from it.
There are two other vicious Qualities which render a Man very unfit for such a Place of Trust. The first of these is a Dilatory Temper, which commits innumerable Cruelties without Design. The Maxim which several have laid down for a Man’s Conduct in ordinary Life should be inviolable with a Man in Office, never to think of doing that To-morrow which may be done To-day. A Man who defers doing what ought to be done, is guilty of Injustice so long as he defers it. The Dispatch of a good Office is very often as beneficial to the Solicitor as the good Office it self. In short, if a Man compared the Inconveniences which another suffers by his Delays, with the trifling Motives and Advantages which he himself may reap by such a Delay, he would never be guilty of a Fault which very often does an irreparable Prejudice to the Person who depends upon him, and which might be remedied with little Trouble to himself.
But in the last Place, there is no Man so improper to be employed in Business, as he who is in any degree capable of Corruption; and such an one is the Man, who, upon any Pretence whatsoever, receives more than what is the stated and unquestioned Fee of his Office. Gratifications, Tokens of Thankfulness, Dispatch Money, and the like specious Terms, are the Pretences under which Corruption very frequently shelters it self. An honest Man will however look on all these Methods as unjustifiable, and will enjoy himself better in a moderate Fortune that is gained with honour and Reputation, than in an overgrown Estate that is cankered with the Acquisitions of Rapine and Exaction. Were all our Offices discharged with such an inflexible Integrity, we should not see Men in all Ages, who grow up to exorbitant Wealth with the Abilities which are to be met with in an ordinary Mechanick. I cannot but think that such a Corruption proceeds chiefly from Mens employing the first that offer themselves, or those who have the Character of shrewd worldly Men, instead of searching out such as have had a liberal Education, and have been trained up in the Studies of Knowledge and Virtue.